Kristóf Gyódi, Maciej Sobolewski and Michał Ziembiński
An important aspect of economic integration of the European Union is price convergence on digital single market. In this study, we propose a novel way to measure price dispersion in the e-commerce industry, using a custom made web-scraping tool. We target all the major price comparisons sites in the 26 EU member states, which enables us to collect price signals from thousands of retail shops operating on-line. We analyse pricing data of 182 branded products sold on-line across the EU, representing the most popular categories: fashion, consumer electronics, gaming and software, and cosmetics. We find considerable dispersion of both pre and post-vat on-line prices ranging from 20% to 40%, depending on the product category. The observed on-line price dispersion is driven by both cost factors and the level of per capita income, which is consistent with the view that producers or large distributors might engage in strategic price discrimination induced by income heterogeneity.
At first look, our results point to the unexplored potential for cross-border trade, which could be released by policy interventions with regards to delivery, payment or law harmonization. However, under strategic price discrimination, reduced costs of arbitrage for consumers might induce discriminating firms to lower the magnitude of price dispersion between high and low income countries, bringing adverse welfare changes of a priori unknown net effect.
The study provides some quantitative information on voluntary pension plans in 10 CEE countries obtained from various local sources. The comparative analysis shows that there is a considerable variation in this group in terms of participation and contributions to the voluntary pension plans. In addition, this study empirically examines several factors that can possibly affect the development of voluntary pensions: income per capita and poverty rate, income inequality, replacement rate from the pension system, education attainment, interest rate and demographic burden. It uses a panel regression framework for the period of 2006–2014. The results reveal that, in the case of participation in voluntary pension plans, only income level per capita is associated with a greater number of pension plan members. As far as contributions are concerned, education seems to be the most important determinant of additional pension savings. Other factors do not seem to explain well both of the studied variables reflecting the development of voluntary pension schemes. However, as individual fixed effects are proven to be significant in the estimated models, one could conclude that country-specific characteristics play a significant role in explaining the development of voluntary pension schemes. They can be referred to the design and parametric settings of the non-mandatory pension system.
In the study, the two-step EWS-GARCH models to forecast Value-at-Risk is presented. The EWS-GARCH allows different distributions of returns or Value-at-Risk forecasting models to be used in Value-at-Risk forecasting depending on a forecasted state of the financial time series. In the study EWS-GARCH with GARCH(1,1) and GARCH(1,1), with the amendment to the empirical distribution of random errors as a Value-at-Risk model in a state of tranquillity and empirical tail, exponential or Pareto distributions used to forecast Value-at-Risk in a state of turbulence were considered. The evaluation of Value-at-Risk forecasts was based on the Value-at-Risk forecasts and the analysis of loss functions. Obtained results indicate that EWS-GARCH models may improve the quality of Value-at-Risk forecasts generated using the benchmark models. However, the choice of best assumptions for the EWS-GARCH model should depend on the goals of the Value-at-Risk forecasting model. The final selection may depend on an expected level of adequacy, conservatism and costs of the model.
Paweł Oleksy and Andrzej Zyguła
In the paper, we examine the impact of ownership structure on dividend policy and shareholder value in non-financial companies from construction sector in Poland. More specifically, by distinguishing between financial and non-financial shareholders, we verify the involvement of financial institutions in company ownership and how it translates into changes in major dividend and shareholder value indicators. Our results show that the presence of financial investors in the ownership structure has a positive impact on probability that the company will pay out dividends, what is symptomatic for financialisation. However, there is not enough evidence to support similar conclusion regarding shareholder value creation.
Azza Mohmed Kamal
According to the International Monetary Fund, Egypt’s employment elasticity of growth in the last two decades was relatively low, as previous policies focused on capital deepening rather than improving labor utilization growth rate. This paper uses input-output analysis to identify the economic activities that have high output and employment multipliers at the subsector level of manufacturing and services in Egypt, while previous multiplier research for Egypt analyzed manufacturing as an aggregate sector. The top 20 ranking subsectors in terms Fof employment multipliers include 13 services and 7 manufacturing subsectors. Except for food and accommodation services, most of the services subsectors gain their high rank from direct and induced employment, with little contribution of backward interlinkages. The picture is mixed for manufacturing. For example, most of the employment effect of food products and beverages is attributed to the interlinkage with the agriculture sector, but the direct and induced employment effects are small. The paper presents an illustrative exercise which excludes imported intermediate inputs in order to account for the possible overestimation of the multiplier effect due to imports. The employment multiplier is reduced by more than 30% in the sectors which use intermediate inputs from high import upstream sectors.
This paper presents the results of studies on violence against women in many countries worldwide, including female citizens of the countries and female immigrants. The paper has been written using the results of research conducted by the World Health Organization, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council; the fellowship project on female immigration, supported by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK); and the Research on Domestic Violence against Women in Turkey, conducted by the Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies in Ankara, Turkey. The paper has combined several studies on preventing violence against female citizens and female immigrants conducted in various countries throughout the world.
Zuzana Brinčíková, Marek Kálovec, Colin W. Lawson and Eva Muchová
Fourteen Slovak state-owned enterprises were studied, using published data and structured interviews with management. A novel methodology is used to assess SOE autonomy, effectiveness, accountability and governance. Variations in operating conditions reflect different government objectives and different ownership models. Mixed state-private firms performed more like competitive firms than did wholly state-owned SOEs. This information was fed into an assessment of Slovak SOEs’ compliance with the 2015 OECD Guidelines on SOE Corporate Governance. There are many differences between Slovak practice and the Guidelines. This may reflect a choice to favour government interests, rather than the OECD’s inclusion of a wider group of stakeholders. One cost is foregone efficiency gains. Another is the perception that the present highly opaque governance system hides corruption.